Partnership Manager - Manufacturing & Construction Work Train

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CenterState CEO and Its Economic Inclusion Division

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce, dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. CenterState CEO’s work occurs across four major divisions: Business and Economic Development; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Research Policy and Planning; and Economic Inclusion.

The Economic Inclusion (Inclusion) division at CenterState CEO, formed in 2015, is dedicated to creating thriving communities through increased prosperity for all Central New York residents. To do this work, the Inclusion team convenes and supports partnerships that bring together business and community leadership to address issues of poverty and economic disparity in the region. The work ultimately seeks to translate economic growth into economic opportunity, increased wealth, and improved quality of life within low-income communities.

The Inclusion team currently manages initiatives in the realms of Workforce Development, Small Business Development/Entrepreneurship; and Neighborhood Revitalization. Additional partnerships and initiatives are in the works. Beyond its programmatic work, Inclusion seeks to pursue systems changes and advocate for public policies that advance the goals of economic inclusion.

Work Train Initiative

Work Train is a community workforce initiative, fiscally sponsored by the United Way of Central New York and staffed by CenterState CEO’s Economic Inclusion Division. Work Train is guided by a Collaborative of leaders from philanthropy, business, government and the community. Work Train is dedicated to providing career opportunities for individuals who are unemployed and underemployed, while helping companies build stronger workforces. Work Train achieves these results not as a training provider, community-based organization, or a workforce agency. Rather, Work Train serves as a workforce intermediary and strategist – convening businesses, public organizations, and nonprofit entities to forge partnerships to deliver effective and non-duplicative workforce solutions.  Work Train has the flexibility to identify workforce challenges, use a design process to develop innovative strategies, and assemble the right teams that are necessary to execute them. 

Position Description

The Partnership Manager - Manufacturing & Construction will help develop and cultivate industry-workforce partnerships under the umbrella of the Work Train initiative. An industry partnership is a dynamic collaboration of regional employers — typically from a particular industry sector— who convene regularly with the assistance of a workforce intermediary to address workforce challenges. The Partnership Manager - Manufacturing & Construction will be responsible for developing a new partnership in the construction industry, while taking over the management and expansion of Work Train’s current efforts in manufacturing. S/he will lead the work with employers in both fields, understand their workforce needs, help address challenges to hiring and retaining workers, and leverage this knowledge to inform the design and delivery of Work Train-sponsored programs.  Central to the success of this role is building strong, professional and respectful relationships with both the employers/industry partnerships and with our program partners delivering  training and wrap-around services to unemployed and underemployed individuals seeking work and career opportunities. Additional duties will be assigned as needed by the Director of Work Train.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Industry and Employer Partner Engagement (50%)
    • Engaging employers within the manufacturing and construction industries to understand their hiring needs and strategies, work environment, and approach to talent development - ensuring Work Train programming addresses these needs and realities;
    • Working with employers to develop and deepen their engagement with industry network partnerships and Work Train programming;
    • Staying current with industry trends - locally, regionally, nationally - to best inform trajectory of current and future program efforts.
  • Program Partner Engagement (30%)
    • Building strong relationships with program partners to accomplish goals in a collaborative and efficient manner.
    • Working with the Director of Work Train and program partners to jointly design and refine Work Train programs based on input and feedback from various stakeholders, including employers, partners, program participants, and instructors. This includes training classes and program participant-centered initiatives addressing systemic barriers to employment (e.g., financial literacy support, car-buying program).
  • Knowledge and Financial Management (15%)
    • Collecting quantitative and qualitative data for program improvement, donor reporting, and communication materials.
    • Developing budget and tracking expenses against multiple funding streams.
    • Contributing to strategic planning and to funding proposals, financial and donor reporting, and strategic planning.
  • Other (5%)
    • Perform administrative, and other, tasks as needed.

Job Requirements

Candidates must demonstrate the following:

  • A commitment to the mission of CenterState CEO and the values of the Economic Inclusion division;
  • Experience in the field of workforce development and private industry, including experience in construction and/or manufacturing.
  • Experience managing collaborative projects involving diverse stakeholders, including multiple funders;
  • Experience working in socioeconomically diverse communities;
  • A “team-oriented” approach, in which s/he is motivated by the success of the organization and the accomplishments of her or his colleagues.
  • Ability to perform to a high standard while working independently offsite and to communicate effectively and efficiently back to the team.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to navigate ambiguity and different work and cultural styles with agility.


  • Position start date is ASAP.
  • The position is full time with benefits.
  • The Partnership Manager - Manufacturing & Construction will report directly to the Director of Work Train.

Application Instructions

  • Interested applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter to CenterState CEO’s Vice President of Human Resources, Nancy Premo: